Panthers Take Star Pass Rusher Off The Market

The Carolina Panthers place franchise tag on their star defender ahead of free agency.
Jan 7, 2024; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; Carolina Panthers linebacker Brian Burns (0) during the
Jan 7, 2024; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; Carolina Panthers linebacker Brian Burns (0) during the / Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

We are less than a week away from the start of free agency and one of the top potential free agents is now off the market thanks to the Carolina Panthers.

Two-time Pro Bowler pass rusher Brian Burns was expected to be one of the most sought-after players in free agency. However, the Panthers decided to put the franchise tag on the 25-year-old, preventing him from testing the open market.

Panthers Place Franchise Tag on Brian Burns

This doesn't come as a surprise as Burns has been one of the bright spots in Carolina ever since he was drafted in the first round back in 2019. He has been as consistent and reliable as they come throughout his five-year tenure with the Panthers.

The franchise tag was the only option available for the Panthers after the contract extension talks between the sides failed last week. Reports had suggested that Burns was looking for $30 million a year from Carolina on a long-term deal. Now, he will be on a one-year contract for the 2024 campaign that will pay him $24 million fully guaranteed.

This doesn't mean, however, that new head coach Dave Canales will have Burns on the roster for next year. The two sides have until mid-July to come to a long-term extension or agree on a modified one-year deal. Otherwise, a trade involving Burns could be back on the table.

Previously, the Panthers had rejected trade offers for their star edge rusher, most recently from the Los Angeles Rams. If a long-term deal isn't reached, Burns will be a prime trade candidate before the season starts.

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